Just like Let It Ride, I tried 3-card poker (also called tri card poker) for the first time just so that I could write up the rules for it. Once again, I found an awesome game to play.
What I like about 3-card poker is that it’s very similar to poker. In addition to being fun, having elements of poker makes the game that much easier to learn. I also like that there are optimal strategies you can employ to lessen the house edge. That way you do have some control over whether you win or lose.
Provided below are the rules for 3-card poker. If you don’t know how to play, you should definitely read these and then hightail it to the nearest casino or choose from one of our preferred online casinos so that you can try the game out for yourself.
3-Card Poker Betting Rules
The objective to 3-card poker is to make the best 3-card poker hand, all the while having a better hand than the dealer does.
A game of 3-card poker will start with you posting an ante. When choosing your bet size, keep in mind that if you choose to play your hand after it’s dealt, your Play bet have to be the same size as your ante.
In addition to your ante, you can also make what is called a pair+ bet. This bet wins if you’re dealt a pair. It’ll lose otherwise. This wager does not have to be the same as your ante/play wager. You can make it smaller or bigger if you’d like.
Once you make your wager(s), you will then be dealt 3 cards face up. The dealer will be dealt 3 cards faced down.
At this point, you only have 2 options — raise or fold. You’d want to fold if you don’t think your hand can beat the dealer’s (more often than not). If you do choose to fold, you’ll lose your ante and your pair+ bet if you made one.
If you think your hand can beat the dealer’s and/or you have a pair or better, you can raise. Once again, your raise sizing is limited to the size of your ante, no more and no less. You’ll have a winning hand if one of the follow happens:
- If the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify. A dealer’s hand must be at least Q high or better.
- If your hand outranks the dealer’s hand.
- If you made a pair+ wager and were dealt a pair. You’ll win that wager regardless of whether or not your hand is better than the dealer’s.
You’ll also receive bonuses if you make a straight or better, regardless if it’s a better hand than the dealer’s.
One thing I want to point out is that the hand rankings are slightly different than what you’re probably used to. Here are the rankings used in 3-card poker (best hand starting at the top) as well as their payouts:
- Straight Flush – 40:1 (5:1 bonus)
- 3 of a Kind – 30:1 (4:1 bonus)
- Straight – 6:1 (1:1 bonus)
- Flush – 4:1
- One Pair – 1:1
In the case that you and the dealer share the same high card, the 2nd card will be used. If you share that card, the 3rd one will be used. Pushes (ties) are also possible. Depending on the casino, you’ll either receive your wager(s) back or win outright.
And that’s 3-card poker. Who knew such a simple game could be so much fun? Be sure to try it out for yourself. Most, if not all of our recommended casinos offer their games in a play or fake money format. That way, you can practice the game(s) first and get a feel for everything before making the jump to real money play.